Cardiff has helped place the health service at the heart of UK crime prevention.
By setting up the Cardiff Crime Reduction Group, the Group developed a partnership approach to beating violence, including academics, health professionals, the police and local authorities. The group encourages the reporting of violent offences and also targets resources at violence hot spots. A “traffic light” scheme keeps breweries’ area managers informed about licensed premises where there are repeated problems.
Results included a 40% fall in violence levels in the Cardiff area, at a faster rate than in similar sized cities. The Partnership approach has been endorsed by the Home Office and there are now 350 similar bodies, now called Community Safety Partnerships, operating across the UK.
One high-profile result of research at Cardiff has been the reduction of injuries from the use of glass as a weapon in pubs and bars. The group showed the benefits of switching to toughened glass or plastic bottles. This led to a switch to toughened glass through the entire UK industry and has been linked to a 70% fall in glass assaults.
The Group has also supported a shift in the way the NHS supports victims of violence. This new approach was developed through a series of field trials in Wales and elsewhere. It aims to increase the care of victims from the moment they first report a violent attack and help reduce their risk of becoming a victim again. It has now been adopted in several areas of the UK.